Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Interview with Kelley York, author of Hushed

1) How did you get the idea for Hushed?
From Archer. He came first. I had the idea for his character and began fleshing him out in my head by asking myself questions. He kills people for the girl he's in love with. Why? Because they did something terrible to her. What makes him change? Evan. And so on.

2) What was your favourite scene to write?
Ohh, that's tricky. Let's see if I can do this without spoiling anything. I enjoyed Archer and Evan's "just bones" conversation. I loved the dialogue in that, and Archer's state of mind at that point in the story was so fragile. I also loved Archer's with his mom at the funeral, or the big hospital scene.

3) Did you have a character that was more difficult to write?
No, not really. Evan's got a lot more going on in his head than he always lets show, so I had to dig deeper with him to figure out what his motivations and driving forces were.

4) Did you find the end of Hushed changed from how you planned it?
The ending changed more than once! When I first started, the entire story was meant to take a different path (although I didn't have an outline written or anything). As I wrote, that changed, and thus so did the ending I had in mind. Then the ending that I stuck with was altered during edits with my publisher, which I think is great because I love the changes.

5) What are three things you can't live without?
I'll assume people don't count. In which case, my computer, my music, and probably my warm, comfy throw blankets.

'Kelley York delivers in this impressive debut. I was at the edge of my
seat waiting to see what would happen next! Bottom line, this was
unputdownable!!!' --- YA Fantasy Guide ---

Author Bio:

Kelley was born and raised in central California, where she still resides
with her lovely wife, daughter, and an abundance of pets. (Although she
does fantasize about moving across the globe to Ireland.) She has a
fascination with bells, adores all things furry - be them squeaky, barky
or meow-y - is a lover of video games, manga and anime, and likes to
pretend she's a decent photographer. Her life goal is to find a real
unicorn. Or maybe a mermaid.

Within young adult, she enjoys writing and reading a variety of genres
from contemporary with a unique twist, psychological thrillers,
paranormal/urban fantasy and horror. She loves stories where character
development takes center stage.

Kelley's website:

Hushed - Synopsis:

He's saved her. He's loved her. He's killed for her.

Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn't protect his best friend, Vivian, from
what happened when they were kids, so he's never stopped trying to protect
her from everything else. It doesn't matter that Vivian only uses him when
hopping from one toxic relationship to another - Archer is always there,
waiting to be noticed.

Then along comes Evan, the only person who's ever cared about Archer
without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the more
Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.

But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders
Archer's committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens to turn
him in if she doesn't get what she wants...And what she wants is Evan's
death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption.

Barnes & Noble:

Monday, November 28, 2011


Hey everyone! With The Tournament of Heroines approaching swiftly, we need to rally the troupes of Team Meghan! This year is my first year advocating for the Tournament, and I was lucky enough to get one of my favourite heroines; Meghan from the Iron Fey Series by the awesome Julie Kagawa! It's going to be a stiff competition of many great heroines, but only one can win. with your help, we can make Meghan number one! All you have to do is go to the YA Sisterhood on DECEMBER FOURTH to vote for Meghan in her first round of the tourney against Max from the Maximum Ride series. WE CAN DO IT! VICTORY IS WITHIN REACH!!! 


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target="_blank" title="The Bursting Bookshelf">
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Be sure to vote on DECEMBER FOURTH!

PS: If you guys have any propaganda ideas be sure to let me know in the comments!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

The Son of Neptune  (Heroes of Olympus, #2)Title: The Son of Neptune
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Hyperion
Release: October 4, 2011
Pages: 513
Series: Heroes of Olympus #2
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Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa tol him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring and bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem - when the Voice took over he mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for and evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery - although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely - enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven

Ever since reading The Lightening Thief a year and a bit ago, I fell in love with Rick Riordan's writing. Fast forward to now and six books later, you have The Son of Neptune, a continuation of the successful Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of Olympus Series. Going into it, I was very excited about the new book, and I can say that I was even more excited about it coming out.

The cover was a very interesting one, as all of Rick Riordan's middle grade covers are. It is under the same theme as The Lost Hero, with the illustrated cover that comes into play with the story. That is one of my favourite moments of reading a book, realizing connections that the author and publisher has left for the reader. Another aspect of this cover that I love is that it helps you better picture a key scene in the book towards the end. Also, the font for the title is very cool looking.

This book introduces the reader to a new batch of characters, different from those in The Lost Hero and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series with the exception of Percy and one or two other minor characters (to avoid spoilers I won't say names). I really enjoyed the return of Percy, getting to see a different side of him than before, one without his Greek friends to help him. As for Hazel and Frank, I really loved the wit they brought to the book along with the struggles and back-stories, unlike anything else in the series.

The best part of this book had to be the writing. The writing of this book brought Rick Riordan's gift with wit and humour to even the darkest of times, making every moment memorable and great, it also worked to keep the reader's imagination running with connections to everyday things as well as Greek and Roman mythology. The story was good, but it did have a few slower parts throughout, mainly when more explanation was given about the Roman aspect of the book. As for explanations about the two camps, I thought it was fairly well explained and understandable for the reader about how the two could exist without the other's realization, creating a seamless transition to the new set of gods and goddesses.

Overall, I give The Son of Neptune a 4/5 for being a great sequel with few flaws, setting up for a great third book. I would reccomend this book to any fan of Rick Riordan's or a fan of humour and Greek mythology.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)Title: The Iron Knight
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Release: October 25, 2011
Pages: 361
Series: The Iron Fey #4
Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.
To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

I love Julie Kagawa. She is simply epic at writing; there is no other way to explain it. In this epic conclusion of the fantastic Iron Fey series, providing the idyllic answer to any fan of the series' prayers, providing us with one last adventure with Puck and Ash. As with all of her books, Julie has this way with words that is nearly indescribable. She sets the world so you can not only see it, but you feel it too, plus they have the darkness and depth that a lot of books struggle to achieve. The story was good in this book, but not quite to the same standard as the rest of her series. With this story, there were too many slow scenes, not to say there were no exciting scenes, but there were simply too many slow ones thrown in the mix. As for the characters of the book, we don't get to see much Meghan, but we do get to spend a lot of quality time with Ash and Puck, and as a bonus for Team Ash, the book is set in his point of view. I would recommend this book to any fan of the series, especially those who favor Ash. Iron Knight gets a 4.5/5 and a guarantee that I will be reading any book Julie puts out in the future.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Future of UsTitle: The Future of Us
Author: Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Publisher: Razorbill
Release: November 21, 2011
Pages: 309
Series: None
It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.

Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM.

Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on--and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.

Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.

After reading (and loving!) Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why, I knew I would read anything else he wrote. Skip ahead to this book arriving in my mailbox. I went in with very high expectations after reading Thirteen Reasons Why, but having not read any of Carolyn Mackler's books, and I am very excited to say this book did not disappoint.

The cover of this book is cool because it features cover models, but you cannot see their faces, leaving it to you to think up what the characters look like from the book's description, rather than the cover. Even cooler is the fact that when you hold the physical book, you can see that the entire image on the cover is made up of binary code (a code consisting of combinations of 1's and 0's). This was such a great way to tie in the technological aspect of this book without being too obvious. Another highlight of this cover was the use of the Facebook "F" in the title. That alone would catch the eye of a potential reader simply because of how recognisable it is, and because of how it ties the entire cover together.

The Future of Us is told in the points of view of Josh and Emma in an consistent alternating fashion. I found myself to quite enjoy both points of view thoroughly because of how consistent they both were in terms of alternating and getting equal time. I loved getting to see how Facebook affected these two teens who had barely even used the Internet. Probably one of the biggest things that was interesting about these characters was the fact that they were not accustomed to using the Internet everyday for almost all of their lives previously, it was a new thing for them. I loved Emma's need to learn about herself and her hope to have a good future, and Josh was interesting to read because he was more hesitant about Facebook and he was less of a risk taker, more of an opposite to Emma.

Originality is not something this book lacks. From the idea that generated the book to the writing that brought it to life, this book oozed it in most every way. One of my favourite aspects of the book was the fact that I had never read anything at all similar to this book. It was new territory for me, an empty canvas that was beautifully filled with realistic emotions and actions, creating a portrait of complexity and originality. When you combine the writing with the fantastic plot, you get a unstoppable force of words. The plot never stuck and it was able to stay interesting even when the entire book only covers the span of a week.

Overall, this book was an out of the ordinary, fascinating page turner that clasped the reader until the very end. I would recommend it to anyone, especially if they love Facebook or any social media site. For these reasons, I give The Future of Us a 5/5.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature done by The Story Siren.

For Review:
Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2)


What did you guys get?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

My Sister's KeeperTitle: My Sister's Keeper
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Release: February 1, 2005
Pages: 448
Series: None
Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister -- and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

I recently broke one of my biggest life rules: Don't watch a movie before reading the book. I had rented My Sister's Keeper from the library, and had enjoyed it well enough, but my mom had pointed out that the two endings are very different. I didn't think I would get around to reading the book, so I Googled the ending. About a week later, it was announced that I would be reading the book in a group setting, which often ruins books for me. Needless to say, knowing the ending probably donated to my dislikes of this book. My biggest drawback of this book was the flashbacks and the lack of Kate in the story. Her story was told by everyone else, creating a lack of her point of view. Apart from that, I enjoyed the writing style Jodi had, not too mature and able to traverse many ages. The story itself could have been told in less pages, but it had a way of gripping you without much action. My favourite character was Anna because of her bravery and loyalty towards her family, and my least favourite was Sarah because she seemed to only care for one of her children. Altogether I give this book a 3/5 for being an okay read, with several major flaws.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter MeTitle: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release: November 15, 2011
Pages: 342
Series: Shatter Me #1
Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

When I first read the summary of Shatter Me, I immediately picked up on the line:

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men.
 Which simply got me excited because anyone who knows me knows that I adore The Hunger Games and superheroes, especially the X-Men, and the comparison between this book my two addictions set my expectations very high for this book. I am pleased to say that this book exceeded my expectations greatly, proving to be a very powerful read.

At first I was not sure about the cover of this book. Something about it just didn't jive for me, whether it was the simplicity or the way it seemed so symmetric. That was when I first saw the cover though, eventually I actually found myself admiring it, but when I got it in the mail. BAM. It was so shiny and awesome, it had a certain something that you just can't seem to see on the Internet. One of my favourite features of the cover is the tag line; "My touch is lethal. My touch is power." Though I loved the line the first time I saw it, I fell for it even more when I found out how much it reflects the writing within. Also, the split in the font was cool too with how it plays in with the title.

The writing of this book is near impossible to describe. The way it had depth while using a method that I have never seen before, creating a feeling of freshness that I have not felt in quite some time. The way Juliette's thoughts were utilized in this manor was both riveting and mysterious. I just cannot gush enough over the amazingly, awesome quality of this book. It captures the reader in a cage of attention, the only time the cage is unlocked is the last page, when the book ends in a subtle cliffhanger, leaving the reader waiting for the next book, ending in a positive way, but leaving you knowing that danger lies ahead (to be vague for spoilers). The story itself was also beautifully crafted, with no sluggish or slow moments, even though it didn't cover a huge amount of time.

Juliette stands as one of my favourite female protagonists after this book. She faced many challenges and hardships that were unimaginable at times, but she stayed tough and took control of her own destiny. I liked how she was able to be kind even when most would be bitter with her gifts, and she refused to be suppressed by someone because of her differences, plus the depth of her character was simply great. I also loved Adam, who also stood up against the prejudices and government, but also had the strength to endure it for others. Adam was willing to sacrifice in order to save others, and he was willing to trust his friends in a time of deception and lies. I truly loved the characters of this book with their depth and strengths.

I would recommend this to ANYONE, it was honestly one of my favourite books of 2011. I simply cannot get over how much I enjoyed it, so needless to say I give Shatter Me a 5/5.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)Title: Clockwork Prince
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release: December 6, 2011
Pages: 497
Series: The Infernal Devices #2
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

After seeing great reviews for all of Cassandra Clare's books, I finally got to reading her Mortal Instruments series and fell in love. I read Clockwork Angel shortly after, and couldn't believe the cliffhanger, one of Cassandra Clare's trademark writing devices. After that ending, I began counting down until Clockwork Prince; getting it in the mail resulted in a full on jumping up and down, screaming session.

As with all of the covers of Cassandra Clare's books, they follow a general theme, featuring a character from the book and titles with a common theme. The other common element with her covers are just how gorgeous they are, and this one is no exception. I love how Jem is featured on this cover, probably because I both guys are so great, and I haven't decided who's my favourite. My absolute favorite feature was the glowing dragon head on Jem's cane.

As always, the writing of this book lives up to this author's reputation fully. The way the text describes everything is such accurate detail makes everything easier to picture for the reader. Though I'm not usually one for historical novels, Cassandra's writing had me completely entrapped in the story, even though the setting wasn't my usual cup of tea. The story was just as good as writing; it seemed to fly by with not a single dull moment. To not spoil anything, I'll just say that the ending was shocking as were all the events within. I also love how humour is incorporated into the story even in dark parts of the story.

The characters in this book experienced exponential growth in the eyes of the reader. For this series I couldn't even decide on a favorite male lead as I mentioned above, proving just how well built the characters are. I again enjoyed reading about Tessa, she was still relate-able as a protagonist, facing even tougher decisions than before. I love Tessa because she's tough, even when the situation doesn't look good, plus she has two awesome guys fighting over her, which is never a bad thing.

Yet again, I found myself to be reading a tightly woven Cassandra Clare masterpiece and for that, I give Clockwork Prince a 5/5. I would recommend this book to fans of The Mortal Instruments series and any steampunk or historical fiction fan.

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature done by The Story Siren.

Nevermore (Nevermore, #1)Strange Angels: Strange Angels and BetrayalsThe RescueThe Eternal Kiss

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
Strange Angels & Betrayals by Lili St. Crow
The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks
The Eternal Kiss edited by Trisha Telep

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed (Matched, #2)Title: Crossed
Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton
Release: November 1, 2011
Pages: 384
Series: Matched #2
In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

After reading Matched, I was unsure of what to expect for Crossed. When I received a copy, I jumped in and found myself completely absorbed with the complexity of this story and everything inside of it. This book truly was a one of the best sequels I have ever read, to the point it was even better than the first.

The cover of this book is such a great symbol for what the character goes through during the book. It actually symbolises my favourite part of the book; the realization that her world is not perfect, but quite the opposite. I also love how they continued the bubble theme, with changes to colour and outfit. Also, if you look closely, there is a quirk in the second letter of the title, this time it is the "R" is backwards while the first title had an "A" with no cross. Just the beauty of the shattering glass as Cassia bursts the illusion of serenity was enough to get others around me to ask what I was reading, which really proves the appeal of this cover.

Though Cassia and Ky were separated for quite a bit of the story, you still could feel the connection between them purely from how much they thought about each other and through the actions they committed. Cassia went far from her comfort zone in an effort to find Ky, which really highlighted their love for each other, as well as Cassia's growth from Matched. I found that she had become the strong young person that I love to read about in books; strong to their beliefs, but still making mistakes along the way. Ky was also strong to his beliefs, but he was willing to make nearly any sacrifice for Cassia, making him a crush-worthy male lead.

The plot of this book was fairly swift moving, though there were a few times that I found to be a little too slow amongst the swift plot. Apart from those few slow moments, I found this book to have a more favourable plot than I went in hoping for. The writing of this book was very descriptive of the setting and characters, helping the reader form a much fuller picture in their mind. Another strong point of this book was the way the chapters were each either Ky or Cassia's point of view, giving the reader insight into both characters. Personally, I cannot wait for the third book of this series to see what happens to Cassia and Ky in their journey for freedom.

I would recommend this book to those who have read Matched or just love dystopian books. For being one of the best sequels I have ever read and for being a good book altogether, I give Crossed a 4/5.

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